Yeni Raki Global

Berlin’s New: Welcoming the “New” Year in Berlin

there are three people that are holding up glasses of water

2021 was the first year that I experienced all the seasons in Berlin. Thanks to the inspiring collaboration with Yeni Rakı Deutschland, new doors opened for me during these four seasons.

At the end of every year, we always say, “I can't believe how fast the year went by," as if it's a custom, but for 2021 everyone seems to really mean that.

I have to admit, besides the obvious distress that comes with the obvious circumstances, this was a year I'll remember happily.

For one thing, 2021 always will be the time of my first four seasons in Berlin.

When I look back… All the fears, feelings of uncertainties about dreaming the second life in Berlin looks redundant and bloated just as my equally excessive excitement. I wish I could go 2 years back and show a montage of my present-day life to that anxious Ferhan! What can you do? It's human nature. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. I tell this one to all the people who just took or trying to take the first step towards a life in Berlin, to people I don't know but in some way reached me; We all need a little contentment. As long as we fulfill our obligations of course.

(This reminds me of a favorite expression; Diligence is the mother of good luck…)

One of the biggest reasons I'm more optimistic and excited than the beginning of the year is that I've leveled up at our collaboration with Yeni Rakı Deutschland. This year's meetings have introduced me to new Berliners, just as I wanted. For each meeting, we made different food pairings from different international cuisines and this helped me to expand my gastronomy vocabulary. I've also had a secret pride in communicating our rich cuisine culture. (I also feel the same pride for Fer Han Feinkost, our brand that presents premium Turkish confectioneries to Berliners.) That's why I thought we should celebrate this growing cooperation and decided to extend the scope for Uzun Demleme's December meeting.

I've always had this idea to band together 'Uzun Demleme' with 'Wild Heart Free Soul' that sells Berlin's most beautiful Anatolian/Middle Eastern rugs. From the moment I saw their 19th-century building in Kreuzberg – which was once a factory, now a loft - I was dreaming about drinking raki there. I indeed relate to their dear owner Beyza Özler's journey, she started from zero when building this brand. We took the first step when Beyza was eagerly involved in my 'Uzun Demleme' dream. Now, it was time to decide on the catering.

We made a special agreement with Berlin's most loved barbecue brand Big Stuff Smoked Barbecue for our December meeting and they also provided us with a vegan option. Besides their classical catering presentations, they served with trays instead of plates, just like in Markthalle Neun. As always, the meat with the special sauce was a delight! If pairing 'Uzun Demleme' with this sauced meat instead of classical kebab culture was the gastronomy challenge of the night, much slobbered Big Stuff was the joy.

We had already made ready Uzun Demleme craft rakis on Beyza's antique copper trays. On top of that, Beyza's music choices (she was a DJ once) that went perfectly with the loft environment, the moonlight casting on the nearby river, me drinking too much raki while stressing vainly about the heating and cheering up early :) All of these came together and turned the night into a lovely New Year's party that would earn me greeting calls for days. Dear Jochen Arndt who brightens up every event of mine and helps me as co-host didn't leave me alone at this meeting as well. As you can imagine, we didn't have to give much thought to new year's presents. Gift boxes full of Fer Han Feinkost's delicious Turkish delights cheered up the guests as they left :)​